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Telescope for planetary work

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Telescope for planetary work

Posted by Tom Moran at 20:23 on 2010 Sep 13

Hello.I have recently joined the BAA and wonder why I didn't join ages ago!I am a keen solar observer and use a skywatcher 120mm refractor, herschel wedge and continuim filter for white light and a pst for hydrogen alpha. I am interested in planetary work but I feel the 120 refractor is not quite up to it. I, like most people, have a limited budget and I was considering the skywatcher pro 180. Does anyone have experience of this telescope? Would it be adequate to make contributions to the Jupiter, Mars and Saturn sections of the BAA?Kind regards.Tom Moran

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Re:Telescope for planetary work

Posted by Andrea Tasselli at 19:28 on 2010 Sep 14

Hi,To answer properly I would need to know whether it is for visual observations or digital video/webcam. This said any contribution is welcome in any section.Reg'sAndrea T.

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Re:Telescope for planetary work

Posted by Tom Moran at 20:11 on 2010 Sep 14

Hello Andrea.I would like to do both.I read your review of the Tal2K and have taken it from my list. It seems a little 'agricultural', with a poor focuser and large central obstructionRegards.Tom.

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Re:Telescope for planetary work

Posted by Andrea Tasselli at 12:33 on 2010 Sep 15

Hello Tom,In my experience 8" is the minimum to do any meaningful work vis-a-vis planetary imaging. Visually, I would go for as large an aperture as I can afford. Obviously, in visual work, a lot depends on the skill, experience and good eyesight of the observer. Although I am partial to the maksutov design (I have four of them) in all honesty I would rather spend the money on a large newton than on a finer but much smaller Mak-Cass. I've heard good things about these chinese 7" maks (but only in the pro version) although overall I don't think they can compete with the russian ones. This said I do like much more the contrast in my maks (or rather still the darker sky background and star shape) than in my newts but the newts deliver far more punch for the buck, whenever planetary details are concerned.At any rate, if you live not too far from Lincoln you might want to drop by and have a look through an 8" Mak-Cass to see how it feels.Hope it helps,Andrea T.

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Re:Telescope for planetary work

Posted by Tom Moran at 13:05 on 2010 Sep 15

Andrea.I know what you mean about the Newtonian alternative. Problem is the design of my observatory is such that I could fit in an 8 or 10 inch with only a short focal ratio of about f5. Would this still be ok for planetary work?Tom

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Re:Telescope for planetary work

Posted by Andrea Tasselli at 18:47 on 2010 Sep 15

Tom,I routinely use an f/4 newt for my planetary imaging so f/5 is just fine.Reg'sAndrea T.

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Re:Telescope for planetary work

Posted by Tom Moran at 20:00 on 2010 Sep 15

Andrea.Thanks for that. I'll have to try out a 10inch Orion one of our members has here at Newcastle Upon Tyne Astronomical Society. If so I'll have to get some step ladders as my observatory pier (concrete in a drainpipe) is designed for a refractor.Regards.Tom